Review

Mad Max Review

  • First Released Sep 1, 2015
    released
  • PS4

Hit the road, Max.

There's a good reason why the new Mad Max game occasionally resembles this year's Mad Max: Fury Road: it's a canonical prequel that pits you against Scabrous Scrotus--son of the film's sinister Immortan Joe. Mad Max's wasteland is greasy and dusty, a place where mechanical monstrosities clash against the natural beauty of the desert. You play the part of Max, an unfortunate wanderer with a troubling past. You charge across open roads in search of redemption, running over those who stand in your way. Driving is central to life in the wasteland, and it's the basis for the game's best moments, too. The combination of an intriguing world and great car combat make Mad Max an occasional joy to play, but shallow ground combat and a handful of other missteps ultimately drive the game off the road.

At the start, you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time when you're assaulted by Scrotus and a pack of his sinewy war boys. They steal your beloved car, the Interceptor, leaving you empty-handed. However, fortune smiles upon you when a Gollum-like mechanic by the name of Chumbucket crosses your path. He's convinced that you're a hero of legend, the "Angel," and he's a whiz with both a wrench and a harpoon, making him the perfect companion in the hard-driving and violent wasteland. You and Chum fend off desperate tribes and push back against Scrotus' forces as you take contracts and hunt down fresh parts for your new chariot, the Magnum Opus. Your ultimate goal is to build a vehicle that's strong enough to cross the void known as the Plains of Silence, where you'll either find freedom, or death on the other side.

When you're trying to survive in a violent wasteland, trimming facial hair is your last concern.
When you're trying to survive in a violent wasteland, trimming facial hair is your last concern.

Together, Chum and Max are fast and lethal in the Magnum Opus, with Chum manning a small cache of weapons in the rear while you steer the car. Picking apart enemy vehicles and guard posts is a cinch with your harpoon, which is the most important weapon in your arsenal. While driving, press one button to slow down time and highlight nearby objects and people, and press another to launch a harpoon or explosive lance. Alternatively, you can tap the circle button to auto-fire at the closest target, but it's an unattractive option when it's vital that you target specific objects; there's no point in ripping off a car's tire when you can just as easily yank out the driver. It's normal to be confronted by three or four cars at once, and though some carry enemies that will try to hop onto your car, you can purchase spikes to deter hop-ons, resort to your trusty shotgun, or pull over and fight it out with your fists.

Max and Chumbucket ride into battle on the Magnum Opus.
Max and Chumbucket ride into battle on the Magnum Opus.

Even when surrounded by enemies, you're an effective and brutal fighter. Watching Max man-handle thugs can be entertaining, but the part you play--controlling Max--isn't very interesting or rewarding. Mad Max's combat borrows from Warner Bros.' recent Batman and Shadow of Mordor games, where mashing one button dishes out contextual attacks, and another, when pressed while an icon appears over the head of an attacking enemy, initiates a parry maneuver. You can attack using your shotgun, but you rarely want to because bullets are hard to come by. You also have the ability to roll and evade incoming attacks, but only a few enemies ever justify the effort. The combat system is so simple at its core that nearly every fight can be won by alternately tapping attack and parry, save for a few boss battles where unblockable attacks are introduced. Watching Max make quick work of enemies is occasionally impressive, but when the majority of fights in the game can be easily exploited, there's no challenge to overcome, and no sense of accomplishment. When put side-by-side with car combat, which is complex, full of possibilities, and requires precision and skill to succeed, Mad Max's ground combat feels shallow.

Mad Max also doesn't do a good job of imposing desperation upon you, a feeling that is necessary if the wasteland's threats are to be taken seriously. It's true that water, fuel, and food are hard to come by, so when you find a can of dog food, you eat it. When you come across a family of maggots feasting on a corpse, you take advantage of your rank in the food chain. Water can come from many sources, but never in large supply. Eating and drinking are the only ways to revitalize yourself in the game, but you quickly learn that carrying an empty canteen isn't that scary. For one, beyond the occasional barrage of explosives that come from fortified camps, you rarely face dire situations, and though it may seem like you would need to rehydrate from time to time because you're going full-throttle in the middle of a hot desert, I never noticed any gradual, deleterious health impacts from exposure. Emergent vehicular battles in Mad Max's open world can jeopardize your car, but Chum quickly fixes it whenever you aren't moving, and a generous fast-travel mechanic lets you magically skip the experience of driving through enemy territory. It may be convenient, but adding fast travel to Mad Max is like adding a "skip" button to a fighting game that automatically takes you to the next round.

What lies beyond the flaming gates of Deep Friah's temple?
What lies beyond the flaming gates of Deep Friah's temple?

You can purchase new parts for the Magnum Opus and upgrades for Max that impact your abilities and appearance. You earn new car parts from the leaders of various regions, either by completing fetch quests or dismantling enemy outposts. After a new part is unlocked, you have to purchase it using scrap metal that you collect around the world. You'd think that any old metal would qualify as scrap, but you'd be wrong. You can occasionally collect large amounts of scrap by taking an enemy car back to base, but you normally acquire it from glowing piles of metal that are sparingly strewn about the wasteland. These piles can include items like a muffler, which you conveniently stick in your pocket. I suppose it's helpful that you can carry multiple cars worth of metal on your person, but it doesn't make much sense. We don't mind this in games where fantasy trumps reality, but Mad Max tries to sell you a world where characters are defined by their abilities and limitations, yet it constantly introduces things that contradict this message. It's also disappointing that Chum can't help you collect parts while you're driving the car. He can hang on to the back when you're driving incredibly fast, and repair the Magnum Opus when it's falling apart, but he can't hop off and help you gather items. Having to stop the car, get out, pick up the pieces, and get back in before hitting the road is a frustrating process that slows you down and exposes you to nearby enemies.

It may be convenient, but adding fast travel to Mad Max is like adding a "skip" button to a fighting game that automatically takes you to the next round.

As you perform certain feats in the game, such as killing multiple people using your car or pulling down enough sniper towers via harpoon, Max's reputation rises, and he can pick up new gear, facial hair, clothing, and an upgraded shotgun. More importantly, Max can increase his efficiency as a scavenger by trading in coins to a mystic that resides on top of certain cliffs. He's an odd duck, but like Chum, his peculiarities add to the world's mythology in a great way, as he speaks of your past and buried emotions. Save for a mother and daughter duo that you meet briefly towards the end of the game, this if the only time Max's past is a topic of discussion. The mystic always departs by blowing noxious powder in your face, putting you in the proper state to receive his "gifts," such as the ability to magically receive bonus portions of water when you refill your canteen from the game's limited water sources. The mystic is a worthy cast member, but his gifts stand in the face of your struggle to survive. A character stat shouldn't determine how much water you get from a small pail in the desert; the pail itself should.

A massive storm drapes the wasteland with wind and lightning. It's an impressive display that makes driving difficult yet exciting.
A massive storm drapes the wasteland with wind and lightning. It's an impressive display that makes driving difficult yet exciting.

There are similar issues found throughout Mad Max, in fact. Fuel, like ammunition, is a rare commodity, or at least it should be according to the story. Oddly, it's not unusual to find fuel cans that repeatedly respawn in front of your eyes. You'd also think that being run over by a car would kill you outright if not seriously injure you, but Mad Max puts more weight behind the punch of a withered nomad than it does a three-ton war machine. If you're playing sloppily during a fight, a few punches is all it takes to bite the dust. Stand in front of oncoming traffic, however, and you can endure getting run over five or six times before you start to worry about your health. In fact, I got so good at being struck by cars that I eventually learned (unofficially) how to jump into the windshield of an oncoming car and perform a triple-misty-flip, landing gracefully on my feet. It's impossible in theory, silly to witness, and easily repeatable. You can also stand in fire without getting hurt, but only some fires; experience taught me that a burning car in the open-world isn't as hot as a flame-thrower that blocks your path during a mission, for example.

Chumbucket readies the harpoon.
Chumbucket readies the harpoon.

Other rules are randomly imposed upon you by the game that take away your freedom with no justification within the story. You have a large, boundless open world to explore, but venture off the map for a few seconds, and a warning screen tells you to turn back, or its "game over." A particular mission wants you to explore an underground tunnel, but if you try to navigate narrow corridors on foot, rather than in your car, a similar warning screen appears. An open-world Mad Max game should force you to contend with the wasteland's harsh elements, but also give you the freedom to go where you please.

Mad Max fails to mix story and gameplay with finesse, but there are elements of the game that stand out as impressive, nonetheless. Raging, electrical storms set a new bar when it comes to weather effects, as fast winds carry tons of dust and debris. The chaos creates a deafening and blinding atmosphere that's occasionally illuminated by lighting bolts and the fires they light on the ground.

They may not hurt too much, but it's still a good idea to get out of the way of moving vehicles.
They may not hurt too much, but it's still a good idea to get out of the way of moving vehicles.

A late battle forces you to chase down a convoy and dismantle Scrotus' massive war rig. Regular car combat is fun, but the scale of the war rig and the relentless nature of Scrotus' horde make this battle truly memorable. You pick off small fries one by one as you try to keep up with the war rig. Occasional breakdowns may cause you to pull over and repair your car, which makes the chase all the more thrilling. The story sequences that follow attempt to teach you the cost of pursuing your dreams in the land of nightmares, and it's the best moment in the game's story, though that's not saying much.

Soon after, however, dead characters are magically brought back to life and your journey continues onward. The ending, like many of the game's minor faults, devalues your struggle to survive in the harsh wasteland. It's a shame because Mad Max's world in the game is beautiful, grim, and fascinating. Some interesting characters, impressive environments and great car combat draw you in and incentivise you to keep going, but it's when you get out of the car that things fall apart. Mad Max's combat system is too dumbed down to enjoy, and repetitive activities such as searching for scrap and invading small enemy camps gets old fast. Mad Max offers some great experiences, but for a game that tries to impose the realities of survival on you, it does a poor job of following up on this pressure. Mad Max is too focused on providing you with an open-world that's filled with missions, and not focused enough on making those missions worth your time.

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The Good

  • The desert wasteland looks beautiful, with excellent lighting and weather effects
  • Car combat is explosive and thrilling
  • Peculiar characters draw you into the story

The Bad

  • Hand-to-hand combat is simple and easy to exploit
  • Logical inconsistencies pull you out of the world and story
  • Most missions feel repetitive and mundane
  • Despite its efforts, it fails to simulate survival in a dystopian wasteland

About the Author

Peter spent over 15 hours exploring the dangerous yet beautiful world of Mad Max for this review, completing the story mode and looking for cars to blow up just for the fun of it.
1197 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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pinkfloyd6789

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Played it now, Sep 2019, Still good though. 8/10

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isamuelson

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Wow, first Alien Isolation gets a 6, now this? Gamespot reviewers seem hard to please these days.

For me, I just picked up this game for $4.99 on Steam, but I would have been just as fine paying the full price for it when it was originally released but I didn't have the system to handle it, or so I thought.

This game, just like Alien Isolation, captures the atmosphere of being Max scavenging the wastelands for "guzzaline" while having to survive Warboys, convoys, and yes, even storms.

It has a story mode, but the fun is to instead explore the Wasteland for as many parts as you can find, as well as photos and cards from the pre-nuclear fallout. You have your own blackhand to rebuild your beloved car. In fact, it's best to level up max and scavenge as many parts as possible to ensure that by the time you do reach the story's conclusion, you have the most bad-ass vehicle ever. Half the fun is roaming the roads and doing side missions. Each one has it's own different flavor to it (whether you're taking down rival fields, or looking for mines to scavenge for more ammo, or taking down sniper towers, etc) that it's always fun to go out and explore and then get into a scrape with the other marauders out there in vehicle on vehicle combat.

It's what it would be if you were Max yourself.

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Master_Overlord

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better than ZELDA BOTW!

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deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

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Definitely worth playing now that it’s free on through PlayStation + this month. Even good as a $15-$20 game. Glad I waited it out though.

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Subcelsious

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Scored this game for $19.99 on ps4. Gotta say it's badass . I traded in HZD , Cod WW2 , monster hunter world and other games that got a 9 and this to me is alot more fun than all those. 9.8 , don't skip on this

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NaotasBack

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Edited By NaotasBack

Just went into my 50th cave in Skyrim , looking for someone's lost family trinket . . . again.

Gamespot called those quests "glorious", and gave it a 9 .

Yet they call the exact same thing in Mad Max, "repetitive"and gave it a 6.

Mad Max is awesome

Gamespot is not.

6 • 
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isamuelson

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@naotasback: And at least with Mad Max, you can collect some pretty gnarly vehicles to ride around in and bash into other cars. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy the Elder Scroll games as well, but you hit the nail on the head.

2 • 
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abrarkhair

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Edited By abrarkhair

This is One of the most underrated ps4 games. Love this game.

Story is about survival in this post alyptical waste land and taking revenge to its leader. Open world game with so many things to do. Modify cars, discover new places, liberate camps and upgrading strongholds. Super addictive . I will give it 8.5 out of 10 .

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pinkfloyd6789

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@abrarkhair: Better than Just Cause 3

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jtmellon

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Purchased from Sony store I guess back in Dec when they were having a sale. This game rocks. Haven't stopped playing it. Then wife left me, I smell like a French women's lady parts and the dog ate the cat because I haven't feed her in days. That's how good this game is.

4 • 
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deactivated-59aca989c9399

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Not even gonna bother with this site for reviews anymore. "over" 15 hours for a freaking open world game, That's hilarious. No wonder the guy gave it a 6, He hardly played the game to begin with to experience it fully.

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Bumblebee1138

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Edited By Bumblebee1138

@69ingChimpmunks: Your argument is valid if the game gives anything different after the 15 hours and not same side quests over and over and over again.

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deactivated-59aca989c9399

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@Bumblebee1138:
Same could be said for every single game ever created ever lol. What do you think GTA is...Mass Effect, Red Dead Redemption and that's just name a few of the big ones.

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Bumblebee1138

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Edited By Bumblebee1138

@69ingChimpmunks: Except ALL those games you mentioned have enriched stories & lores, well developed characters, different and unique landscapes, an array of weapons & powers to choose from surrounding the side quests of those games. Mad Max has NONE of that. Sure it has a short bland story that last couple hours but other than that it's just same repetitive tasks done in various points of an boring land of nothingness. Heck, 15 hours? You can get clear idea of this game in 5.

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pinkfloyd6789

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@Bumblebee1138: It only has great car explosion and great movie based lore, other things are primitive. Cult game id say.

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deactivated-59aca989c9399

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@Bumblebee1138:
And again same could be applied for every Mass Effect and GTA game. It's comparing apples to oranges but still. This game is fun even if you just wanna play through the campaign and do nothing else. It was only repetitive for me when I was grinding out the last remaining achievements.

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Bumblebee1138

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Edited By Bumblebee1138

@69ingChimpmunks: And AGAIN, I literally just explained the difference but you chose to ignore it in an attempt to evade making counter-argument simply you have none.

Not to mention you still haven't explained how does fighting an oil deport in Boring Area X in the 15th hour can be different from fighting a deport in Area Z in the 60th hour. Exactly how much of difference there is that it would made the reviewer change his mind about the score?

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deactivated-59aca989c9399

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@Bumblebee1138:
I'm not saying there's a difference. What I'm saying is put 15 hours into any game - GTA, Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect and it's not gonna be any freaking different of a game 30-60 hours in. All the same type of quests - Go get this or go kill that. You can use the "lore" excuse but that can only take you so far. So calling missions repetitive is a weak excuse to lower a score when that could be applied to so many games.

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Bumblebee1138

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Edited By Bumblebee1138

@69ingChimpmunks: So you just admitted that "15 hours into any game - GTA, Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect and it's not gonna be any freaking different of a game 30-60 hours in." So you just counter-argued against your own original statement about 15 hours doesn't give "full experience" LOL!

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okbyenow

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I seriously can't believe i used to rely on this website for game reviews

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icedrey

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Edited By icedrey

The game runs PERFECTLY on Ultra settings on a 960GTX and a AMD CPU. Check out this video if you don't believe me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1zRDJi0TV8

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CrisChip

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Soooo Mad Max is one of the Games of the Year and a big sleeper hit. But AC gets a 9/10 which had a similar combat system to the arkham games or the Assassin's Creed games. Not to add that it's car customization is vast and the world is gorgeous, good optimization for PC. And I could go on. You basically just nitpicked the small things and complained for no reason. Mad Max was a plesant surprise that deserved at least an 8-9 score while Assassin's Creed gets a 9. Come on did you seriously complain about where Max kept scrap and car parts? Look at most of the games ever made with an inventory. -_-

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okbyenow

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Edited By okbyenow

@crischip: Thank you. I cant believe i actually still go to this website

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Arcius_Azrael

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Isn't the combat system similar to Arkham series, which GS actually praised?

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primusrules

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mad max has 53 cars to unlock and a huge desert and this is bad?

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albertus_magnus

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this is a stupid review; for all the bad things in it, there is enough GREAT stuff that makes this game an easy 8 or a 9... if you wanna be harsh, you can give it a 7.5 but it's better than that... 6 is just plain stupid, this guy must have issues... how can you say combat is simple and predictable? it is NOT, fights are not repetitive, enemies attack in different ways, you need different strategies to deal with them and so forth; obviously the combat is similar to shadow of mordor and batman, after all they all come from WB and they are not going to reinvent the wheel for a new game... look at Rockstar, they used Rage as an engine in every game they have from GTA4 to GTAV... that's understandbale; if you don't like it take a break, play sometohing else then we talk about it later; but don't pretend like this game is a 6, this is WAY better than that; there's a whole bunch of things to see and do in this game, it's just way to BIG and GREAT for such a stupid review; definitely at least an 8 or a 9

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G4mBi7

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Edited By G4mBi7

All the bad remind me of an AC title

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zombygunslinger

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Edited By zombygunslinger

I completely disagree with this review. I think many of the complaints are invalid and some of what is written shows the author wasn't really paying attention to the game. Many of the elements mentioned as negatives are standards of these sort of games. I love this game. The driving is fun and feels authentic, the combat is streamlined but feels brutal and is satisfying. The author may not like this type of game but it is a major success at what it sets out to do as far as I'm concerned. This reminds me of movie critics that review films of genres they hate. The film may be dead on for it's audience but the reviewer has to pick it apart based on their preferences, not on it's actual quality. I would say if the game feels repetitive quit doing the parts you find tedious and go for the story missions, they are great and varied.

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MasterRACE87

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Edited By MasterRACE87

Ridiculous review! the game was almost flawless...the gameplay was great and very entertaining, the graphics were astonishing and breathtaking sometimes despite being in a wasteland and all, the sound effects were great and voice acting was excellent!, the story was okay a bit inconsistent but overall okay honestly i don't expect much of a story from a based-action game and NO do not compare it with MGS V 'cause Hideo Kojima was behind it and he was focusing on delivering a great story and for those who compare it.. it's not even similar to MGS perhaps it's quite similar Just Cause since it has been developed by the same studio... bottom line the game was worth the money 'cause it has a LOT of play time in it also it's extremely enjoyable and i had a lot of fun with it.

10 • 
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sirjonk

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@masterrace87: Flawless? no. Fun for about 10-15 hours, yes.

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gotrekfabian

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@sirjonk: Large game will always be repetitive and that I sent for everyone but criticising a game for having a large amount to do is asinine.

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Edited By dyvokoza

I find the choices in making of this this game a bit... weird.

Yes, it's a Mad Max game but let's face it - the world of mad max has always been much more fascinating than Max himself. It's 2015, why am I unable to create my own character and create my own story? OK so the Wasteland is a bit limited but choosing between man/woman, half life/full life offers some possibilities for different prowess (I dunno, make men stronger, women faster, make men better at melee and women better at aiming, give half lifes some superhuman crazy strength, full lifes more well... life or whatever.. you can do it.
In addition to that, why do I have to build up and upgrade the Magnum Opus? Why can't my Anyman character find or commandeer just any vehicle in the wasteland? And name it Whatever?

And last but not least, the choice to simply not put the world of the movie into the game is so.. depriving? It almost makes me angry. Why can't I meet Immortan Joe and become one of his henchmen, try and rise through ranks and become his Imperator and rival Furiosa? Or become his nemesis and experience what it's like to be chased by him, steal his wives for myself and take over the Citadel? Why can't I see the characters I know and love, like that nutjob with bullets for teeth (Buller Farmer) the People Eater, the crazy old women of the desert? Maybe I could meet and befriend Mad Max and go onto adventures with him... there's so much you could get people coming from the movie to want to experience, this game could've been the new Skyrim with the best possible trailer ever - Fury Road!
But no. No. Weird!?

4 • 
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Spiderjensen

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Excellent game, a little repetitive at times but I very much enjoyed my time in the wasteland.

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Well here goes, flaming probably inbound. I have managed say 20 hours so far, and am spending the majority of it being a bad ass bloke driving around upgrading himself and his car and his places of rest. It's cracking. There are graphical glitches, the road doesn't always look right, but there are so many cool things. Yes it's all been done before but the thing about been done before is that if it was a cool thing to do is it wrong to let people do it again?

Looking for balloons, finding eagle eye points, climbing radio masts, on and on. If you want to see whats coming then go look, first thing I did in assasins creed was open the map up, i liked it then and i like doing it now.

Story missions, mind if I upgrade meself a bit more first? Griffa and I have stopped speaking as there's nothing to upgrade, my car is a bit mean and I'm sure the the mighty V8 is just around the corner, but I'm now ready to look at the story a bit more.

I want to sort the clean up crew and survey crew and maggot farm, well that's my bag. the game has been set up to let me play as and when I want.

I have now seen the film, well all four, I know 42 and haven't seen the originals. Love the nods to Dinki Di and Bino's from Mad Max 2, so not all a prequal to Fury Road.

Liked finding out why he's a hobbling bloke in a brace, well that's a nod to Mad Max prior to apocalype, which was so well explained at the start of two I laughed for a while.

Haters, lovers, in betweeners, we all have our favourites. I will play the Witcher III again, I'll get that wierd 360 thing out and play the ME Trilogy again, I'll play GTA V many more, But will I ever play FC3? FC4 has been passed by. Syndicate is worrying me after it took months for Unity to be right.

This game has been a good bit of fun and I'm only on the third area of the map. I'm lookinf forwards to more but know it's more of the same ahaed, but that's why I am taking my time because I am enjoying it LOTS!

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dg_2101

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This is a dreadful review. Read others - but play this game, it is really great. Fantastic fun!

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blitxxx1981

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wtf ever "reviewer"... were you paid to crap this game's review on purpose Peter? :-|

Steam's review section scores "User reviews: Very Positive (8,002 reviews)"

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kwasiquartey

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Clearly u didn't play the game before reviewing it, chumbucket wasn't referring to Max as the angel it was the the car he built for him that he was referring as the angel. Shame on gamespot , review, its a better game than the metal gear you gave the 10 score.

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ahmad996

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Edited By ahmad996

@kwasiquartey: I agree. This is the worst possible review that could have been done for this game. I would give it an 8 after just finishing it.

However MGS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Mad Max.

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Fade2black001

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Edited By Fade2black001

Why are people commenting on unrealistically you store items? I mean look at GTA, you carry around like what 15-20 weapons on you at all times or can hold this much at least. This shouldn't even been mentioned. The game isn't a bad game but its not worth 60 bucks. I still can't believe they gave MGS V a 10 though. That game has many flaws as well.

Not to mention that the combat in this is a lot like others as well. Such as Batman Arkham series, Shadows of Mordor, Ryse Son of Rome and others. Its not uncommon nowadays to see this type of combat system.

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Ammodog84

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I take issue with the lack of attention to detail in Mad Max, it seems like they put so much attention into the "big picture " and forgot details like you can't stand in fire without being burned, you can only jump when the yellow markings say you can, frame rate constantly dropping or even losing in game audio from characters along with disappearing subtitles etc. The game was fun but the lack of attention to detail really showed the inexperience of the development team and took away from the over all enjoyment of the game. The details missed or lazily attended to could fill a page and I hate that because I'm not normally one to nit pick though these things constantly popping up make it hard not to notice. I think the GameSpot review was fairly accurate, are far cry from what I was expecting when I brought the game.

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tsuingosuto1985

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They say you can tell if you will like a game in the first 10minutes of playing

#FirstTenMinutes - Mad Max

https://youtu.be/o2PI0bYm0Y8

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Deeg_1

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TL;DR? Begone, fiend!

It's interesting: most of the time, with Gamespot's reviews, I feel that the criticisms levied are fair, the praises are deserved, and the score is reasonable. But every now and then, a review comes out that leaves me scratching my head in bewilderment. Had I read only this review, I would never have found the astounding level of immersion that the world of Mad Max has to offer. While it's true that the game systems in use are old hat, this game would have easily earned the old Gamespot medal/merit "Better than the Sum of its Parts." To mark the overall experience playing Max as "6.0, Fair" as a representative level of enjoyment for the average gamer is harsh and misleading.

Peter makes a number of criticisms about Mad Max that seem strongly related to the level of realism presented in the gameplay, in contrast to the story presented within the context of the fictional environment. Sure, fast travel removes the need to drive cross-country, yet it isn't mandatory should one disapprove (options, quality of life, limited play time, etc.). Sure, Max can gather an effectively limitless amount of scrap metal (the arsenal traditionally available to Snake/Big Boss comes to mind). Sure, melee combat may be called shallow, as it's largely arcade-style two- and three-button combinations (what is "acceptable" complexity?). Sure, the fundamental gameplay mechanics are unrealistic when juxtaposed with the grim, unforgiving world painted by the lore/story/cutscenes (when do mechanics become tedious, and how do they detract from player immersion? How much fun am I having when I'm constantly worrying about my hunger/thirst timer?). Ultimately, since when has Gamespot held fictional games to a standard of realism? While this stern attitude is not necessarily an invalid point of view, it is needlessly restricting in an industry that thrives on artistic and intellectual experimentation & freedom (not to mention the pressure on Triple-A titles/studios).

If Gamespot had demanded subjective realism throughout all the years that I've used their website for qualitative assessments on the mountains of games that have been released, it's unlikely that I'd have encountered an objective analysis of a complete game system/experience . This complete perspective, what I would call an "inclusive analysis," is precisely why Gamespot has been my long-term go-to source for [relatively] unbiased reviews (Long live Kevin VanOrd!). Now, whenever I see an example of a review that has completely missed objectivity in favor of subjective nitpicking on a site as prestigious as Gamespot, I find myself disappointed.

It strikes me as somewhat curious that, of all the criticisms levied against the game, the lack of difficulty options is not one of them. Peter's review seems to suggest that the game was not challenging enough for his skill level. Why not say simply & directly that the game's sole difficulty is not necessarily one-size-fits-all? Why go to so much trouble to throw mud at all the individual components, as though the so-called simple, seen-before elements are essentially at fault for his lack of enjoyment?

Remember that time when Tom McShea reviewed The Last of Us? This isn't that silly, but I'm reminded nonetheless. Maybe too many projects were assigned, maybe the contrast between The Phantom Pain and Mad Max was too sharp, maybe I'm just out of the loop. I don't want an explanation. But I would like the content produced by Gamespot to demonstrate that its employees are able to simultaneously differentiate between the specific quality of individual game elements and appreciate the overall flow, feel, and balance of a total gaming experience.

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jepsen1977

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Edited By jepsen1977

@Deeg_1:

Since there is no "like" button I just have to say I totally agree with your comment.

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silentrambo

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Edited By silentrambo

I don't mean to over criticize but...why does the guy who is a self proclaimed "Metal Gear Fan #1", who did the review for said game "after" over 50 hours played (and gave that a well deserved 10), get to even review Mad Max in the first place and only give it a 6 (it's at least a 7.5-8). All i'm saying is that maybe the guy who is busy playing the new Metal Gear might not have been the best choice to review Mad Max.

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Sulima

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Horrible review. Its a great and fun game to play. It looks beautiful, its fast, great action and if you loved the movie you will enjoy the game.

The reviewer keeps implying that this is a simulation - it is NOT - its a fun action game that has a serious topic, but does not take itself too seriously. Its meant to be fun, not frustrating. The map is huge - so fast travel makes sense otherwise it would be too tedious to have to drive across it all the time. If you exit the map, you will be a warning message (in what game do you not get one?). And while questing there are restrictions in some cases on how to do the quest (example given was driving vs. walking thought some tunnel missions), the game itself is quite flexible and you can attempt things in any order you like.

This game deserves at least an 8.

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silentrambo

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@Sulima: You nailed it, only thing to add is the amount of customization is huge, particularly in the magnum opus.

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Yamakoichi

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Dang, if Peter here reviewed DAI he probably would of given it a 2.

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Lyckant

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Unfortunately, the review is quite accurate with the negatives but the grade is a bit too low. I've played for 12 hours and I got bored somewhere around 6 hours in. The game is extremely repetitive, the objectives are very boring, the story so far is mostly missing, the combat uses the same system which I've seen many many times before and it doesn't do anything new to stay interesting for too long. On the good side, the soundtrack is nice, the voice-acting is good, the car combat is awesome for a while (but it also gets boring eventually) and the desert looks and feels great (they did nail the atmosphere and the Mad Max lore). Sadly, it doesn't do too much to keep me interested. The game is certainly NOT a 6 but not a very good game either. I think a 7-7.5 is the most accurate grade.

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Mad Max

First Released Sep 1, 2015
released
  • Linux
  • Macintosh
  • PC
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One

Mad Max places players in the role of a lone warrior who must embark on a journey to reclaim his stolen interceptor from a deadly gang of marauders.

6
Fair

Average Rating

420 Rating(s)

7.7
Not yet assigned a final ESRB rating. Appears only in advertising, marketing and promotional materials related to a game that is expected to carry an ESRB rating, and should be replaced by a game's rating once it has been assigned.
Rating Pending